An announcement from the head of state broadcaster NRK last week that it may eventually move its headquarters from its longtime sprawling site in Oslo immediately set off real estate speculation, both for the area where NRK is now located and where it may re-locate.
Real estate brokers claimed the land where most of NRK’s existing facilities lie, at Marienlyst in Oslo, is alone worth as much as NOK 2 billion or more. It could, they claim, make room for as many as 1,400 residences.
Marienlyst is bordered by Blindern (home of the University of Oslo’s main campus), and the popular Majorstuen and Fagerborg districts. NRK boss Thor Gjermund Eriksen said the radio, television and cultural institution not only has outgrown its historic facilities but he feels they’re no longer suited to current demands in the media world. “I love being here,” Eriksen said, “but Marienlyst was built for another era.”
While the site seems most likely to be converted into a housing and commercial complex, despite state-mandated preservation of the historic portions, speculation was also flying over where NRK might move. Most think it could obtain the most space and modern facilities at a site in the Ulven, Løren, Hasle or Økern portions of north-central Oslo that currently are undergoing massive redevelopment.
Major developers like Selvaag Bygg, OBOS and Akershus Eiendom have already emerged as interested players in the process. No move by NRK is likely, however, for at least another five to 10 years.